Author Topic: best places to live for amateur astronomers  (Read 267 times)

slotiniphin

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2018, 09:00:14 PM »
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Flag has its drawbacks with all the ambient light. I've thought that further south up in the mountains around Jerome, AZ may be a good location or further north along the south side of the Canyon. Second Mesa over on the Hopi land is plenty dark at night -- in fact, pitch black on top of that Mesa.
 Drive over Wolf Creek Pass in a Winter Blizzard sometime and you will begin to understand well the limitations on Durango. On the plus side, Durango has a stretch of bars and nightclubs in its old town which are second to none anywhere -- which, of course, makes night time observing all the more difficult.

Yes, in the city relatively bright but just a short drive on your way to the Grand Canyon and it gets very dark. I live on the edge of the city (so not bad but not great either) and I get 21.1-21.2 on the best nights with my SQM.

ziecouvicog

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2018, 11:06:04 PM »
There are a ton of considerations when you start talking about practicalities like access to amenities (shopping, restaurants, hospital, etc), climate, internet access, etc. I would say desert areas due to the amount of clear nights - central oregon, nevada, arizona, colorado. Fairly large region but all share the same basic elements of low humidity, sparse population, and dark skies. I was in Bend OR for a while and you can drive 15 minutes and be in a gray zone. Down side is that low humidity means cold at night time, which is rough. Ultimately, somewhere like hawaii (or another sparsely populated island with high elevation) would be ideal. But that means a gallon of milk is like 8$.

blacosticna

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2018, 02:27:14 AM »
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I am quite happy living in San Diego. The city itself has plenty of light pollution but the seeing is generally quite good so my backyard is well suited for observing the planets and enjoying close double stars.

San Diego county is about 4200 square miles and includes just about every sort of environment possible, every possible micro-climate, there's the coast with it's beaches and mild weather, there's foothills and real mountains with snow in the winter and there's deserts where it's hot in the summer but mild in the winter. The back country has reasonably dark skies and there is plenty of open land for observing, about half the county is either a state park, national forest or BLM land, it's open. And truly dark skies are with a day's drive.

Add in the year around fine weather, the lack of flying insects, the clear skies in the mountains and deserts, the moderate to dry humidity... Most people live where the climate and weather is governed by large scale effects. If it's cloudy and you drive 100 miles in any direction, it's probably still cloudy. In San Diego, with the varied terrain and micro-climates, you might drive 5 miles and it will be clear.. A couple of years ago a couple of friends from the midwest were visiting our place in the high desert.. Their hotel was by the bay and it was solid overcast when I picked them up. They wondered if it was even worth driving out to the mountains because of the clouds. I assured them it was worth the drive.
The skies are not the darkest, the seeing isn't perfect but as a place for an amateur astronomer to live, it's tough to beat.

Jon
Out in eastern and southeastern San Diego County along the Campo Road and along old U.S. Highway 94 (the really old stage coach route from San Diego to Yuma) -- its pretty isolated country with really dark areas.

Greg Fleming

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2018, 03:53:01 AM »
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I would plan to live in rural Durango. There's plenty space out there to build a house. I've actually looked on google maps. Durango also has a scope shop named "Durango skies". They are an observatory solution based store, and sell a 1.0 meter RC , along with smaller based RC's. I've actually considered living in Durango, and working there. It'd be my dream job.

Seeing in Rockies is bad most of the time due to mountain turbulence in the atmosphere. Being from MS, you will die from the cold in short order. Well, not right away, but you wouldn't last. I know from first hand experience. Durango is a fantastic place to visit. The Durango to Silverton steam train is the best scenic trek in the country. The drive to Ouray is like going to Switzerland. The drive to Telluride is awesome. After that, head south!

Jeremy Gambel

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2018, 07:51:46 PM »
Lets start with the fact that there is not a perfect place. Every place is a compromise. The main factors are of course how dark it is and how good the seeing is. Then you have to look at the weather. Then you have to look at all the practical things like cost of living, job availability, availability of medical care, shopping, concerts, sporting events ,arts etc. How you weight these factors and other things such as nearness to friends and family and we will all have a different answer. The other problem comes if you find the perfect place but your spouse hates it.
 I like western South Dakota but don't tell anyone. We like theuncrowded areaand the decent cost of living in Rapid City. By the way we also have a lot of outdoor activities available in the Black Hills. As a bonus South Dakota does not have a state income tax.

turtnaneade

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2018, 11:43:46 PM »
I would just want to be somewhere in the san juan mountains. I love that range of mountains. I've seen a video of the train ride, and it looks great. Im also very active in action sports, and Durango offers a lot of different recreation. I can eventually adapt to the cold. I've looked at pagosa springs which is and hour east of Durango, but it's a bit to small. Utah is more of a desert state than a mountain state. Wyoming, and Montanais just to cold. Some of my family just moved up to Billings, Montana, and they have snow up to their waste. And, to be honest I want to be close to all the good starparties in the west. I also cant be to far from home either. That's why I think Durango is in the perfect location.

JosephBC

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2018, 09:22:05 AM »
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